Mohawk College helps launch free national training program with focus on a greener economy

Ron McKerlie, Filomena Tassi, Lisa Hepfner, Corey Diamond, Dan Muys, and Paul Armstrong pose at the launch of Quick Train Canada at Mohawk College. Global News

Mohawk College is playing a major role in a new cross-Canada program that provides free training to help industries become greener and more sustainable.

Quick Train Canada has officially launched with 39 micro-credential courses that are of no cost to workers or companies, thanks to a federal investment in 2021 of $46.5 million.

Filomena Tassi, Minister of FedDev Ontario and MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, was at Mohawk College on Wednesday for the announcement of Quick Train Canada’s launch, saying it will help guide the country toward a net zero economy.

“These courses will help students quickly obtain the new skills in green tech to apply to sectors like agriculture, construction, natural resources, the environment, and transportation,” said Tassi.

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Paul Armstrong, Mohawk’s chief operating officer, said they’ve been working directly with industry partners to create these micro-credentials.

“Our National Industry Advisory Council has had a number of sessions in which they provided areas of greatest need, which helped us define where the curriculum will be,” said Armstrong.

“We’re now looking at trying to dive a little deeper with larger groups of employers within each industry sector to define where the training needs will be for the next micro-credentials to be developed.”

The training is free to those who take part, and Armstrong explained that reducing the barrier of cost is a benefit to both the workers and the companies and organizations that employ those workers.

He also said working as part of a pan-Canadian coalition — called Canadian Colleges For A Resilient Recovery — means that every school that takes part gets to benefit from the creation and deployment of these courses.

“In traditional models … there would have been costs associated with the development of programs that would have been deployed locally. We’re in a very efficient manner being able to take the strengths of one and then deploy it without those costs that we would have normally had around new development and new programs in a way that can happen very quickly.”

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The program is expected to provide training and upskilling for as many as 10,000 Canadians by expanding with a total of 80 micro-credential courses within the next six months.

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